Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does larger Champagne bottle = more pressure inside?

  1. Nov 12, 2011 #1
    Hello All,

    It's been awhile since I've had to do these calculations, and this might be more of a Gen Chem question, but I thought I'd post it here as well and see the group's feedback.

    A standard (750mL) bottle of champagne has roughly 6 atmospheres (~90psi) of pressure inside.
    Does this pressure increase (or does it stay the same) if the bottle is much larger?

    The reason I'm asking is that my wife (who is in the wine business) has become quite adept at sabring regular champagne bottles. However, she's going to sabre a 9L bottle tonight and I was just wondering if this (much) larger bottle has more pressure inside, or is it just a larger bottle with the same amount of pressure?

    I have found some information here regarding CO2 (dissolved and gaseous):


    ...example 10-9.

    ...but, as I mentioned previously, haven't done these kind of calculations in awhile and am a little lost.

    Any thoughts and the reasons behind them?


  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2011 #2
    My thought is that it will be about the same pressure. The pressure inside is developed from the continued fermentation of the champagne in the bottle.

    What difference would the fermentation be if the champagne was in one big 9L bottle or 12 smaller 750mL bottles?
  4. Nov 13, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    The pressure is independent of the volume but there would be much more Energy stored in a larger bottle. If you were to use this energy (the expanding CO2) to drive a small engine of some sort then you would get proportionally more energy out.

    But, as far as what happens to the cork plus the glass neck, the pressure on the cork from the inside is only there whilst the cork is attached and it's the same in both cases. Once the cork comes off, the pressure is dissipated elsewhere. So I can't see that there would be any extra Kinetic Energy imparted to the flying top. In fact, I think the energy would largely come from the heavy sabre, moving at speed.
    It seems to me to be a flashy trick that is actually very safe as long as you don't cut yourself on the glass on the glass or the flying bit. Napoleon, who was reputed to have invented the trick, was keen on dramatic gestures!
  5. Nov 13, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Or, you know, the whole swinging a 3 foot sword in a crowded room of guests... :uhh:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook